Iran’s previous attempts at creating an indigenous UAV fleet have been rather, well, comical. However, with recent sightings of a this medium-altitude, long-endurance flyer in the skies over Damascus, Iran’s drone program may have finally reached the big time.
Dubbed the Shahed 129 (or “Eye-Witness”), this Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) measures roughly 26 feet long with a 52 foot wingspan. It reportedly has the endurance to remain aloft for up to 24 hours with a range of between 1700 and 2700 km (1000-1700 miles), a top speed of around 87 mph, and a service ceiling of 24,000 feet. The UCAV also reportedly utilizes a way-point based autopilot system similar to Iran’s Karrar UAV when operating beyond range of its ground station. It’s also reportedly capable of carrying between four and eight Sadid missiles.
The Shahed made its debut at the Great Prophet 7 war games in 2012, entered full-scale production in September of last year, and is widely believed to be heavily influenced by the Israeli Hermes 450 UAV, though recent surveillance footage now suggests inspiration from the American MQ-1 Predator as well, given the Shahed’s close resemblance to both platforms. The Iranian craft sports a nose clearly reminiscent of the Predator’s while sporting a roof-mounted antenna.
This wouldn’t be the first (or even third) time that the Iranians have tried to pass off reworked western designs as their own. The US military has not reported losing an MQ-1 over Iranian territory, but that doesn’t mean the IRSAF couldn’t have gotten its hands on illicit parts through other channels. Unfortunately for them, just because the Shahed 129 looks like a Predator, doesn’t mean it will fly like one.
The combat UAV technology has completely Iranian native and a strong army to defend the borders, water , earth and air is Islamic Iran.’ Witness 129 ‘ ability to carry 8 bombs or missiles simultaneously smart SADID , making the Iranian Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Revolution and is designed for fixed and moving targets .Precision in targeting the operational radius of 700 thousand kilometers and 24 hour endurance flight refueling with a load of features that combat drone is Iranian and off at any airport can be seen 129 .
This flight ceiling of 24 thousand Past portable ground control stations that are connected and can take a very low cost of defending the homeland .Since the cost per flight hour is 10 thousand dollars for fighter aircraft combat UAV can cost 100 dollars per hour over Iranian skies shine. Witness 129 ‘ Power 200 kilometers care of themselves and are flying unmanned combat these thugs and terrorists , to explore the boundaries of soil and water , environmental issues , mapping and aerial photographs is also be used. Ordered the mass production of ” Witness 129 ” Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander of the Islamic Revolution in the UAV was issued at the construction site
Source: Farsnews (free translation of Persian)